salt fermentations

The salt you use in fermentations can change the time it takes to ferment, and the quality or flavor of your food.

salt for fermenting

salts

I won't josh you, I pretty much always use kosher salt for fermenting. I can count on the results being consistent batch over batch. 

I've heard, but haven't tried, Himalayan pink salt is the same as kosher salt as far as consistent results go. If you've tried it, please share your experience with us.

Sea salt is very popular for fermenting because of the added minerals, but results can vary depending on brand and where it was gathered. If you have experience using sea salt, please share it with us. Include the brand name of the salt in your submission.


benefits of fermented foods

We've all heard how healthy fermented foods are for us. Did you know that cheese is often fermented? Hard cheese is often dipped in a brine to harden the rind. Molds are used to give bleu cheeses their characteristic color. Bread uses yeast to rise.

Fermented vegetables add PROBIOTICS to our diets, contributing to digestive health. How wonderful that we can make these foods at home, providing locally produced lacto-bacteria to our diets. And fermenting is an easy way to preserve the harvest. 

Who knew?

how much salt to use

hydrometer-gravity-beer-brixhydrometer-gravity-beer-brix

The next thing to know is exactly how much salt to use for fermenting. Too much salt and the food is preserved, rather than fermented. Too little salt and fermentation won't take place, allowing the food to spoil. 

Most fermenting books recommend a 2% solution of salt to water. But just how much salt is that, and in how much water? Below is a table that spells it out, BUT what salt is used? How can I be sure I have the correct concentration? 

Using a HYDROMETER is the answer. They aren't terribly expensive, but you can make one in under an hour with our tutorial.

salinity chart

brine-chart

This chart can give you approximations to make your brine.

other salt information for fermenting

  • Don't use iodized or table salt. It contains impurities that can cloud or even ruin your ferment.
  • Black salt can add a slightly sulfuric taste to your ferment, but can be used.
  • Results can vary when using sea salt, depending on the impurities in the salt. I is generally fine for fermenting. Typically not very expensive and widely available.
  • Himalayan salt gives similar results to sea salt.

Recipes Using the fermentation method: